The daughter of the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan was kidnapped in the middle of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, held for several hours and brutally attacked, officials from both countries said on Saturday.
No one has been arrested in connection with Friday’s assault on 26-year-old Silsila Alikhil. The Afghan Foreign Ministry issued a statement demanding a speedy investigation, saying she was “severely tortured.”
A hospital medical report, seen by the Associated Press, said she suffered blows to the head, had rope marks on her wrists and legs, and was severely beaten. He was suspected of having several broken bones and X-rays were ordered, according to the report.
The report says that her abductors held her for more than five hours and that the police took her to the Islamabad hospital. There were no details about the kidnapping itself or the circumstances of his release.
Pakistan called the attack “disturbing” and said security has been tightened at the Afghan ambassador’s residence in Islamabad. The Afghan Foreign Ministry said it strongly condemned this “heinous act” and expressed concern for Afghan diplomats and their families in Pakistan.
Relations between the two countries are riddled with suspicion and animosity. They routinely exchange accusations, with Afghanistan claiming that Pakistan is sending thousands of jihadist militants across the border to fight and provide a safe haven for the Taliban. Pakistan, in turn, accuses Kabul of harboring the anti-Pakistani group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan – the Pakistani Taliban – and the secessionist Balochistan Liberation Army.
As the violence escalates in Afghanistan along with the withdrawal of US and NATO troops, some members of the Afghan government have intensified their verbal attacks on Pakistan.
In Kabul, the Afghan Foreign Ministry summoned Pakistani Ambassador Mansoor Ahmad Khan on Saturday to present “a strong protest” over the attack. The ministry said it “explicitly asked the Pakistani government to take immediate steps to identify and punish the perpetrators of this crime.”
A prominent Pakistani senator, Sherry Rahman, condemned Friday’s attack, tweeting that “the daughter of the Afghan ambassador is a young woman, and she should not face any obstacles in walking through downtown Islamabad … More importantly, she has right to diplomatic protection in Pakistan. “
Hamid Mir, a Pakistani journalist who survived a 2014 shooting in the southern city of Karachi, asked in a tweet how such a thing could happen in Islamabad. “What good are expensive urban safe cameras?”
He also noted that Pakistani journalists and even a police officer have been kidnapped in Islamabad, but few culprits have been arrested.
Most of Islamabad’s neighborhoods are exclusive, with wide, tree-lined boulevards. Pakistan’s capital is home to all of the country’s diplomatic missions, most of them located within a heavily fortified enclave. The Afghan mission, however, is outside of that enclave.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that “the safety of diplomatic missions, as well as diplomats and their families, is of the utmost importance. Such incidents can and will not be tolerated. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism